August 27, 2004
Company is at fault in Air NZ wages blow-out
The union that represents workers at Air New Zealand says that the Government should be asking the airline’s managers and directors the hard questions about why a wages blow-out has been allowed to occur – and sack them if it is not satisfied with the answer.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that while the company had so far failed to produce an explanation for the blow-out, it was common knowledge that it was paying for high levels of overtime by workers because it had failed to get manning levels right.
“The Government, as the major shareholder, should be doing what any shareholder would do, and that’s holding the managers and directors accountable for their decisions,” he said.
“The Government should ask the hard questions, and, if it doesn’t like the answers from the managers and board, remove them.”
Mr Little said that it was wrong of National’s Wayne Mapp to blame the company’s wages blow-out on the Holidays Act.
“That’s simply political points-scoring that shows his lack of understanding of the real issues,” Mr Little said.